War is a bounty hunter's closest ally.
War bent the law, increased demand, and caused salaries to skyrocket. 14-year old Boba Fett knew this, but that didn't mean he couldn't, at times, despise war. Boba definitely wasn't a peace-lover, not in the protesting, public outcry kind of way. He knew that to really despise war, you had to see what it could do first hand, not behind the concerned veil of pacifistic news media. As somebody whose father had been killed in the first battle of the Clone Wars, he knew this as a fact. There were atrocities he saw, atrocities that the rest of the galaxy would never know about, that made him, a bounty hunter, wish that the galaxy were at peace. Of course, he couldn't stay at this conclusion for long. He needed strife, needed death, needed atrocity to stay in business.
He told himself this as he stared at the clonetrooper through his electrobinoculars. The soldier didn't move, only stood, his expression hidden by his helmet. He could see through the binoculars' thermal function exactly why he was here alone, in the middle of the sandy plain, left by his brothers, unmoving in the shimmering sands. A blotch of garish color beneath the man's foot indicated a landmine. Boba knew his explosives. Stepping on a landmine wasn't what triggered an explosion. It was stepping off of it. With a mix of dread and fascination, Boba realized that the clone had stepped on the landmine and, once this was realized, could not step off. Stepping off would mean certain death, total annihilation. The soldier's commanding officers must have known this as well. Boba could imagine the generals evacuating the other clones from the minefield while informing this one of the circumstances and why he had to stay, before fleeing the forsaken field as well, leaving the doomed man to his fate. The thought of being abandoned to such a horrible death made Boba shudder.
Boba knew he shouldn't stop. He had a job to do. He had been hired to assassinate one of the Jedi generals, probably the one that commanded this man's battalion. There was no time to spend watching this freak show of calamity. Despite these thoughts, Boba couldn't help but walk forward as if drawn by some unseen influence. He stopped at the edge of the field, away from the mines, but close enough that he could better see the condemned man. It was hard to see through the armor, but Boba could tell the man was trembling, either from fatigue or fear or probably both. If he had been a normal soldier, with a real family and a life outside of the war, he might've been spared. Somebody might've actually tried to help him. But he was a clone, an expendable unit that could be easily replaced. It wasn't worth the time or money to save him. Boba felt a stab of grief for the man. It was unfair, devastatingly so, but no more so than any of the other universe's workings.
The man had become aware of Boba's presence and looked over at him. Boba froze, instinctively reaching for his blaster. Doomed or not, the man was still armed and therefore was still a danger. The clonetrooper noticed Boba's alarm and suddenly laughed. Boba winced. It was a mirthless, desperate laugh that seemed to cut the air like a razor. The laughter withered and it was silent again. Boba needed to leave. He had work to do. Yet he remained rooted to the spot, an audience to the other man's misfortune. The other man watched him as well, unmoving once again, his thoughts unreadable behind the helmet. Still keeping his weight on the mine, he slowly lifted his hands to the sides of his helmet and with a slight twist, pulled it off. In his face, Boba saw an older version of himself and a younger version of his father. The man's expression was as unreadable as his helmet, but he was trembling more now and his actions had taken on a slow, almost saintly dignity. Boba took a few steps back, still watching the macabre procession. The clonetrooper closed his eyes, his lips forming words that Boba couldn't make out. His helmet clutched to his chest like a last comfort, the man lifted his foot from the landmine. Before Boba could even react, the man was engulfed in an explosion that shook the ground beneath him and momentarily blinded Boba in a flash of white. Through the incomprehensible blaze Boba felt the searing heat of the explosion through his armor. There was no way anybody could survive being in the middle of such an explosion. When he could see again, Boba only saw charred body parts strewn across the field and a scorched pit where the soldier had once stood.
The horror of what he had witnessed hit Boba like a tangible strike. Boba staggered away from the forsaken field, revulsion and distress momentarily corroding away his senses. He stopped and closed his eyes, trying to quell the storm of emotions. The anguish faded away to be replaced by a cold anger that settled in his chest like a stone. The man's death might have been preventable. If his superiors had made the decision that he was worth saving, he might still be alive. Even if he couldn't have been saved, at least he would've died knowing that somebody cared instead how he had, utterly alone, with only a silent spectator as company.
Boba looked away from the field and continued his journey, now stalking his prey for more than just money. This general, this supposed superior, would get his comeuppance for allowing one of his men to die like this. Boba now saw why bounty hunters and war were so inseparably linked. In war, when an atrocity is committed, it falls upon the chosen few to make sure that the act is avenged and that justice is achieved. If fairness could only be accomplished through death, then so be it. When one saw behind the euphemisms and lies, death was the only final and lasting justice in the galaxy. For peace to truly be attained, the corrupt, the wicked, and the cruel must be sacrificed. Justice must prevail.